In its report START II: Prospects for Ratification, published on 28 April, the Duma`s Analytical Directorate argued that START II should only be ratified if the treaty is amended to include a number of complementary proposals. The report recommended that ratification laws incorporate the principle of the same reduction for both Russian strategic forces and the United States. To justify its position, the report cites the conditions that the U.S. Senate added when START II was ratified in January 1996. The report reiterated criticism from opponents of START II that the United States has secured conditions for “reduction without destruction,” which would allow the United States to rapidly increase its nuclear strike potential in the event of a crisis. U.S. strategic nuclear forces are heavily dependent on SLBMs, some of which must be removed in accordance with START II, but must not be destroyed. At a summit in Washington in June, in the middle of the START-I negotiations, US President George Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed a joint declaration describing the approach of the two sides to the next START treaty. The statement stated that it intended to “reduce strategic offensive weapons in a manner consistent with improved strategic stability,” in particular by reducing the “concentration of warheads on strategic carrier vehicles” and improving system viability. They agreed that the agreement would include “measures on the issue of heavy missiles and MIRVED ICBMs.” For the purposes of this treaty, the measures on which the consultation body can agree include one or more of the following measures: recall of heads of diplomatic missions; the breakdown of diplomatic relations; The breakdown of consular relations; partial or total interruption of economic relations or rail, sea, air, postal, telegraph, telephone, radio or radiographic communications; The use of weapons.
At a meeting in New York, Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and his US counterpart Madeleine Albright signed a PROTOCOL on START II on 26 September extending the deadline for the destruction of the treaty`s weapons systems from 2003 to 2007.